New Kid on the Block: Tribeca Parenting

When Realbirth closed in June, Tribeca Pediatrics‘ Dr. Michel Cohen saw an opportunity, founding Tribeca Parenting and hiring as many as 12 of Realbirth’s teachers to cover the same sort of topics—preparation for childbirth, baby-care basics, breastfeeding, and so on—that Realbirth did. It wasn’t a big stretch: During Realbirth’s last months, classes were offered at Tribeca Pediatrics locations. He also hired Realbirth master of education Emily Cohen (above, and no relation), and she says that Realbirth founder Erica Lyon, author of The Big Book of Birth, will also be teaching classes at Tribeca Parenting.

Given how contentious issues surrounding childbirth can be, I was curious how Tribeca Parenting could go about it “non-judgmentally”—doesn’t all teaching involve decisions as to a right way and a wrong way? “Lots of places say natural childbirth is the only way to go,” says Emily Cohen. “We give you the options—the pros and cons—to make your own choices. You may think you want to get an epidural, for example, but you may not realize that it can mean you won’t even be able to push when the time comes. You may still want the epidural, but you can have them reduce it as time goes on so you can feel enough to push—but without all the pain. Our philosophy is help you find out what’s best for you, whatever that might be.”

Cohen—who was raised in Westchester, graduated from Penn, has long been interested in women’s health and pregnancy, and doesn’t have kids yet (and yes, she’s aware of the irony)—oversees the entire Tribeca Parenting endeavor. Classes are currently offered at Tribeca Pediatrics locations in Tribeca, Chelsea, Williamsburg, and Park Slope, and they’ll come to the Upper East Side location in the fall. In Tribeca, some classes—like ones on breastfeeding, which require a certain amount of privacy—will take place at Tribeca Language on Harrison (where Tribeca Parenting used to be located). There will also be rotating workshops, such as one on baby food taught by the women from, that will be in Tribeca in September.

As valuable as the education component is, Cohen acknowledges that the sense of community that participants gain can’t be underestimated: “So many couples tell us that they’ve become close friends with people they met in classes. It’s not uncommon for classes to have reunions long afterward.” (Or, as a friend explained about Realbirth, “It was so great to have a place to go to where there were other crazed moms who also hadn’t showered in days and were covered in milk and spit-up.”)

Tribeca Parenting is at 46 Warren St., between Church and W. Broadway; 646-863-4500,

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  1. I had the great opportunity to happen upon Tribeca Parenting a couple weeks ago while visiting New York. Having two kids I started to follow the strollers thinking it would lead us to a park but we came upon Tribeca Parenting’s front door and went in to check it out. I was amazed. Such a friendly environment and the design of each room was so cool (round tables!). I got to see Ms. Cohen in action and was given a tour to better understand the philosophy. I wish we had a place like this in Marin, California. Bravo!

  2. You go girl!!